Skip to main content

Year End Kickoff

Around nine I was coming out of a strange high kick fantasy when the sun had shone brilliantly through my windows. The gradation was a dazzling mix of gold and yellow, then finally bright yellow that permeated through the thin folds of my eyelids. And then as I was rolling over on my left side, trying to hold on to the last images of that wet dream, I heard a familiar faint cry of pleasure mixed with pain.  It had to be my Chinese neighbors, I said to myself.  For them it only takes 5 minutes to do the "do," so no sleep was lost on my part, I had a peaceful morning. Around noon I knew I would reward them back with some real rumpus after mom swung by.

Rolling back over on my back, I rubbed the smoothness of my paunch, thoughts of what to eat for breakfast shuffled through my mind. I was hungry and I wanted something heavy, but my bed was so comfortable I couldn't pull up.  Just five more minutes I thought to myself. Since I had a gig that morning I thought I could swing over by the local eatery to grab a grilled steak platter combo with chicken and rice. I did, and it was good, as usual. Come rain sleet or shine, the food in Japan is good all the time, I shake my head.

On a cultural note, I was pondering over my steak combo what to do for the holidays. I usual put off traveling until around Feb. when things calm down. 2011 is looking to be a local one for me, again. I'll focus on the cultural aspects this time, too. This year I will do "Oseibo" or year-end gift-giving. Japan has two major gift giving seasons, Oseibo and Ochugen( mid-summer gift giving). The last time I did an Oseibo was back in 2008. I was a member of an English/Japanese speaking circle in Tokyo for a short time. I gave out several bars of Ghana chocolate to everyone in the circle, which took everyone by surprise. They didn't expect I would know about such a custom. Maybe it was the type of gift I gave….( they were 105 yen per bar). According to the custom, the price tag determines the level of the relationship; most expensive would usually go to your boss.

In China there's a custom where you keep the price tag on the product you purchased as a gift. This shows the receiver how much he/she is liked by the giver. Of course in Western countries we remove the price tag as a manner. Well, I forgot to remove the tags on my candy bars. Nobody made a stink about it, just the usual Japanese smile and "arigato."

This Christmas I won't do anything special, but work. Work is always special. I love work. Billy called from Alaska asking whether the Japanese celebrate Xmas or not. I answered, "no!" "why?" he asked. "Japan was never founded on Christian principles and Western religious fundamentalism, that's why," I answered back. This is Asia!  But, I continued, Japan is no longer her former self, she is a prostitute for America.   Now, we can officially say, Christmas is a part of Japanese culture.   Now, we have Japanese Santas who dress up in the red costumes and run around with gifts.    This is Asia.  Now....Oh, boy!  What's next????   

Popular posts from this blog

Shin-Okubo: Little Korea

So I finally got around to going up there to Shin-Okubo,  the land of Seoul via the Yamanote Line.  Been putting this trip off for years for personal reasons;  I am not a fan of Hanlleyu.      I knew why I came up this way, and for none other reason than the food, and maybe to bask in the nausea of Korean romanticist who steal Japanese Jukujo's souls.    But honestly, I like spicy food and stews and pickled vegetables that challenge my taste buds.    I also love the little funky cafes that line the main thoroughfares and alley ways, each with their own little eclectic menus and interior decor.     This place is Korea.  

Shin-Okuba represents more than just a place to relish in Korean culinary delights and K-pop culture, but a place where Koreans can express themselves through their culture.    You can feel the local vibe in the air as you're walking down narrow walkways and footpaths.    I have personally been to mainland Korea six times, so a lot of the nostalgia was there …

August: The Return of Souls

August is peak summer season in Japan.  We can look forward to some of the most spectacular fireworks displays and festivals in the world, especially  in places like Tohoku and Kanto regions.  August is also  the most contentious month of the year in Japan; with the end of the war and war-related guilt.    Then there's the great exodus back home for millions of Japanese.   Obon season is what it's called in Japan, and it's  where families return to their hometowns to remember their ancestors and to spend time with loved ones.  Gravestones are visited, cleaned, and washed; rice or alcohol is often placed on  miniature altars next to a  headstone.  This is a way for Japanese to reconnect with their roots; a way for them to stay grounded and founded in the ways of tradition and cultural protocol.   

For the foreign tourist, some places will be overcrowded and expensive to reach; for Japanese, this is normal and can't be helped.   Wherever you go there will be lines and h…

For the Glory of Sake

For the Glory of Sake

Couldn't help but notice the snarky remark the Japanese guy made sitting next to me on my left.  " like Japanese sake.   This is a Japanese drink.  I like I like" he chided in Japanese English.  He attempted to rest his hand on my balls, but I slapped it away.  "No shit, then why are you drinking two fingers Jack-n-Coke" I retorted.   
I was requested to come and have a sit and drink lesson by the owner of the bar, who in turn introduced me to this drunk S.O.B.  And for a nominal fee I had to grit and bear the sickness of sitting next to a stinky salary man with a Black penis fetish for several hours while appearing like I was having the time of my life.  I didn't want to ruin it for my Jukujo matron and patron, so I behaved.  
I haven't been to a Japanese shrine in a while, but whenever I go I always pray and thank the Gods for the Japanese Jukujo.  I thank them for delivering me from the scourge of silly little she-men w…